TAMPA — Rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo has missed three kicks in his first two NFL preseason games, and what was already a healthy dose of scrutiny over the Bucs' second-round pick has escalated with each miss.
"I don't know if 'concern' is the right word, but every player on a football team has a specific role and a specific job to fill, and they're expected to do their job," coach Dirk Koetter said Sunday after a 27-21 win over the Jaguars.
Aguayo, who missed an extra point last week against the Eagles, missed a 32-yard field goal on the opening drive Saturday in Jacksonville, then a 49-yarder later. He hit two other field goals and went 3-for-3 on extra points, but there's growing concern that his inconsistency could extend into the regular season, now three weeks away.
"He's been pretty consistent in practice, but in both of the first preseason games he's missed kicks that he's expected to make," Koetter said. "The bottom line is he's expected to make those kicks. He knows it, of course. Everybody knows it, and we can't hit behind it. We can't hide behind any of the mistakes, and trust me, I'm making more than anybody out there. But yeah, he's got to make them."
Aguayo, who didn't miss a kick inside 40 yards in his time at Florida State, addressed the misses after Saturday's game, saying he hopes he can work out the kinks in the next two games as he adjusts to the NFL.
"It shouldn't happen with me. You just have to fix it and keep moving on," Aguayo said. "I feel like that's what preseason games were made for, to get the young guys rolling in, to keep working, keep getting better."
Koetter's expertise is as an offensive coach, so he doesn't know what, if any, detailed mechanical changes Aguayo might need to make, even after checking with special teams coordinator Nate Kaczor.
"No, I just yell at him," he said Sunday, laughing. "And I swear sometimes, too. … I don't know what's wrong with Roberto right now. Maybe there's some nerves, I don't know. He might be overthinking it. There's definitely pressure on him. It is the preseason. It's the time to work it out, but I'm not the guy that can help him. I'm not that guy."
Aguayo has time to iron out his form before Tampa Bay's regular-season opener, Sept. 11 in Atlanta.
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, Aguayo's teammate with the Seminoles, reminded him that he, too, struggled Saturday, missing on his first six passes. He said the team has confidence that Aguayo will return to form soon.
"I had more misses (Saturday) than him," Winston said. "That's a way to boost his spirits up. One thing about Roberto is the snap-and-clear mentality. I think he's really talented. He's just teasing people right now. I know he's going to produce during the season."
Contact Greg Auman at firstname.lastname@example.org and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.